At approximately 4:22 a.m. police received a complaint of an impaired driver passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle at a busy intersection. By the time the police arrived on the scene the vehicle had driven away. Shortly thereafter, however, the same vehicle went through radar at a 120 km/h in a 90 km zone and being driven in an erratic manner. The police stopped the vehicle whereupon he immediately noted the “puke-ish odour of hard liquor on the driver’s breath”, red bloodshot eyes, jerky motions and “unfixed stare”. Not surprisingly, the police formed the opinion that G.R.R.’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, placed him under arrest and transported him back to the police station to obtain samples of his breath.
While G.R.R. was bring processed at the police station, the police found 3.2 grams of crack cocaine in his pocket. In addition, G.R.R. provided the police with 2 samples of his breath and both were at least twice the legal limit. As a consequence G.R.R. was charged with the following offences:
- Possession of cocaine contrary to Section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
- Impaired driving contrary to Section 253(a) of the Criminal Code.
- Operating a motor vehicle over .08 contrary to Section 253(b) of the Criminal Code.
G.R.R. retained Patrick Fagan to defend this prosecution. Patrick Fagan entered pleas of not guilty to all charges and scheduled a trial in the Provincial Court of Alberta. In anticipation of trial proceedings Patrick Fagan notified the Crown of his intention to seek relief pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Bottom Line: On the date scheduled for trial the Crown conceded the strength of the constitutional arguments presented by Patrick Fagan and all charges (including the “drug” charge) were completely withdrawn.